Before I was a mom, I was a school teacher. My job was just about everything to me (you know, the husband was/is pretty important too). I loved it! Notice how that statement was in the past tense? Over the last couple of weeks I have been feeling like I may not want to go back to work once my maternity leave is up. There! I said it!
You see, when I told people I was pregnant, the conversations, especially ones that took place at and around the workplace, would inevitably revolve around whether or not I would return to work. My response was always that I am a better person when I am working, which may still be true. I also said things like, "This is my second home," when talking about my workplace, which was true. I didn't think I could be home all day with a child and have no adult interaction, and there are days where I still feel that way. BUT, and this is a huge one, the idea of handing over my child to someone I barely know for 3-4 days a weeks, for hours on end, makes me so incredibly sad. I found myself staring into Avery's eyes this morning crying because I do not want to leave her. I know this has been felt by countless mothers (and fathers). We are so sure that life will go back to being the same after we give birth. I was so sure of this fact that I remember saying, with no hesitation or doubt, to friends, family and coworkers, that I was DEFINITLY going back to work. They all would smirk and say the same thing, "We'll see!" The ONLY person who didn't smirk and mutter those two little words was my husband.
Now don't get me wrong, I am sure he would love for me to stay home. But he is super logical, pragmatic and a realist. He KNOWS we cannot make it in this city without me working. He knows that if I stop working we leave the city to live who knows where and probably in a suburb. And please do not take offense to that if you are a suburb dweller. I grew up in the 'burbs and I have to say that right about now they are looking great. There is something safe, comfortable and convenient about them. I have found myself daydreaming (or night-dreaming because it is typically when I am feeding Avery in the middle of the night that I allow myself to fabricate such illusions) of a house in the countryside, having 2 or 3 more kids, working from home (doing what? We'll get to that in a minute.), learning how to garden and running barefoot in the grass with all my little blond children...and then Avery spits-up on me and I remember that it is 4am and my feet are freezing!
So if I want to stay home, (which has not really been discussed in detail with the husband, because like I said he is a realist and to him it is not an option...end of conversation) I need to find some way to bring in money. Has anyone else been in this situation? There is a pit in my stomach when I think about the end of April and going back to work. Has anyone else come up with a clever way of bringing in income without dropping your child off at daycare and going back to work? What sacrifices have you made to be a stay at home parent?